Thursday, April 25, 2024

Michael Jackson: Epic Botching of Great Unreleased Single from “Bad” Album


Today is the third anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson. (Also the the third anniversary of Farrah Fawcett’s passing, FYI.) Epic Records cannot get Michael’s posthumous recordings out properly. Way back I told you that Michael’s longtime engineer Bruce Swedien had one extra track from “Bad”–the same one the late Frank DiLeo remembered as being outstanding. It was called “Don’t Be Messin’ Around.” I wrote about it here:

So it turns out that three weeks ago, on June 5th, Epic released “Don’t Be Messin’ Around” as the B side of the reissued “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” the original single from the “Bad” album.I spoke to Bruce a few minutes ago. He says the track is NOT a demo, it’s the finished track. “Michael didn’t make demos. He played piano on that track. That’s the record.” Sony did not consult Swedien about the track. They did send Spike Lee down to interview him for a video they’re doing on the “Bad’ 25th anniversary release set for…September. But for now, no publicity.

What??? After all the fighting about the Cascio tracks from the “Michael” album, here was the one track everyone agreed was really Michael, was really from classic sessions, and could have been trumpeted into a big deal. Not only has there been ZERO publicity, but also you can only buy the single at Wal-Mart, and only physically. Not digitally. In 2012.¬† I can’t imagine why Sony/Epic/Legacy and the Michael¬† Jackson estate was unable to do this right. It’s like everything else with Michael Jackson’s post-death recordings. And to think Sony said it made a deal for $200 million. They’re not going to earn it back this way!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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